Monday, February 14, 2011

St Valentine

So, although the Eastern Church commemorates this saint on July 6th, Western culture celebrates this day on February 14th, the anniversary of his death.  Why?  Read here. (hint: his death coincided with a pagan feast). 

If it ain't broke, why fix it?  I have always thought that the way children celebrate Valentine's Day is sweet and don't see any problem with continuing with those same traditions with the addition, of course, of talking about St. Valentine's life.

Here's what we've done and are going to to do:

  • We made valentines last week to hand out at Wednesday school. 
  •  Today I have heart candies to give out during school lessons.  
  • We decorated our living room window with hearts hanging on string. 
  •  We're going to bake heart cookies to have with a Valentine's tea this afternoon (which is when I'll tell them about who St. Valentine is).
  • This evening, we're going to a family candlelight dinner.  Pa will present the girls with chocolate hearts and I will give one to the boy.
Any other activities that you recommend? (and my apologies for not posting this BEFORE Valentine's Day!!!).  Blame it on my pregnant, mothering brain.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Presentation of the Lord in the Temple

Tomorrow we celebrate how Joseph and  Mary fulfilled the law by taking Jesus to the temple with an offering. This blog has two wonderful posts (Thank you, Ma!) on this feast which talk about it in depth as well as offer fun ideas for enjoying this special day with our little ones. Since I'm not one to reinvent the wheel, I'm just going to talk about a couple things (born out of those ideas) I'm doing with my little ones (4 &1) this year.

This year my four-year-old is participating in a wonderful program at our Church called the Catechisis of the Good Shepherd. He has already been reintroduced to the story and has been allowed to "act it out" with models. The thing he focused on was the gift of two turtledoves given by Mary and Joseph. He was told that the gift would actually go to the priests for food. As we were talking about the Feast on the way home from Church he decided we should bring a gift to our priests just like Mary and Joseph did. He also wants to bring a gift to his Catechists (teachers), because "they work at the church too."

I thought it was a wonderful idea to bring a gift that the priests could eat/use, not only does it show them our appreciation, but it allows us to offer something back to God in a very tangible way.
My son wants to get a clock for the church (I wonder if he thinks it will help the priest keep his homily short? j/k). My idea- dove shaped cookies.

Another thing we will do is to take candles to church for the service to celebrate the Light "to enlighten the gentiles!" We have the battery operated ones, but in the next few years we will graduate to real candles. At our church the priests bless the candles during the service. And just like Ma's posts suggest, we will decorate them! :)

I wish you all a blessed feast!